Wednesday, June 16, 2010

U.N. spending: U.S. suckers Homepage (click here for story)

If President Obama wants to bring some much-needed "discretion" to U.S. spending, as he insists, there's ample opportunity and valid reason to do so with what the United States spends at the United Nations. That's where fiscal discipline is a foreign concept.

In the past 10 years the U.N.'s regular biennial budget has more than doubled; its peacekeeping budget over the same period has increased threefold, according to the U.N.'s figures reviewed by The Heritage Foundation.

Time was when the U.S. had a policy of "zero growth" in the U.N. regular budget, which helped contain spending in the mid-1980s and '90s. That discipline has gone out the window. All told, the U.N.'s largest contributor today pays in excess of $5 billion annually.

The last time the U.S. actually put its foot down over the U.N.'s lack of fiscal transparency, gross mismanagement and moribund reforms was in 2007 when it voted against the U.N.'s budget. U.N. member states passed that spending plan anyway.

So exactly what is the U.S. role at Turtle Bay -- besides picking up 22 percent of its regular budget and more than 27 percent of its peacekeeping budget and being played for a sucker?

For what the U.S. spends at the U.N., it can begin formation of a League of Democracies. At the very least it should inform the spendthrifts at Turtle Bay that Uncle Sam's ATM is closed.

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